Anyone who has ever written about News Corp. knows that you don't really "cover" Rupert Murdoch in the sense that you cover, say, Sumner Redstone or Michael Eisner or David Geffen. You marvel at him the way you might marvel at a giant, ancient lizard.
You puzzle over his ability to make deals that other, less bold moguls scoff at now and envy later. You wait for the few droplets of information that every once in a while escape his lips. You wonder what he might actually do next, and whether it will match his image as an overbearing, reactionary, populist ogre. At this point Murdoch is less a media mogul than a wizened but still vital force of capitalism, as shrewd as Warren Buffet but far less scrutable.
He did little to dispel that image tonight, on stage at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco with MySpace founder Chris DeWolfe. Moderator John Battelle did manage to extract some news over the course of the hour-long discussion, mostly from DeWolfe. After MySpace was acquired by Murdoch in 2005 for $580 million -- a figure that many analysts considered evidence that the old man had finally lost his mind, and now looks like a bargain -- DeWolfe and co-founder Tom Anderson signed a two-year contract. Tonight DeWolfe confirmed reports that they have re-upped for another two years, likely for less than the $12 million per year apiece they were said to be demanding (Murdoch hasn't lost his talent for keeping costs low, even for an asset that has likely increased in value almost 10-fold over the price he paid for it).
The other news is that MySpace, following Facebook's lead, will open up its APIs to outside developers "sometime in the next few months," said DeWolfe. The opening up was questioned by some in the audience, who wanted to know whether DeWolfe will also allow full portability of MySpace-created apps to other social-networking sites (the answer, though DeWolfe wouldn't acknowledge it, was clearly "No"), but still it's a move many have demanded.
Virtualization At The Desktop?
Examine how more than 250 companies plan to adopt server virtualization technology in this recent InformationWeek Research report, Server Virtualization.
The BI Explosion
Examine the business intelligence strategies of 500 companies, including deployment drivers and challenges, spending plans, and vendor selection, in this recent InformationWeek Research report.
Liveblogging Web 2.0 Summit: Hewlett Packard Finds Printing Exciting
While Internet enthusiasts like to sneer at "ink on dead trees," and predict the death of print, in fact the opposite is happening. And that's the core of Hewlett-Packard's $30 billion printing business. Vyomesh Joshi, executive vice president, imaging and printing group, talked with conference content co-chair John Battelle about how the new technology of Web 2.0 impacts the ancient technology of printing.
Tired Of Smudges On Your iPhone? Get Phone Fingers
If there was an award for the strangest iPhone accessory ever invented, it would go to the makers of Phone Fingers, hands down (no pun intended). The latex fingers were created specifically for the iPhone's touch screen to prevent smudges and fingerprints. And no, this is not a joke.
Viacom Sets Jon Stewart Free, Online
Providing some relief after the Steve Ballmer bombast, mild-mannered Philippe Dauman delivered his news and comments like an expert fencer today at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco. While my colleague Antone Gonsalves covers Dauman's cut-and-thrust on Google's copyright plans, I'll give you the entertainment news: Viacom is posting the complete history of The Daily Show online, for free, for anyone to port to their own sites as they see fit.
First Glance: The Nokia N810 Linux Internet Tablet Doesn't Make Sense
I had an opportunity to play with the new Nokia N810 Internet Tablet for about five minutes last night, and came away confused. It seems pretty darn expensive for a machine with limited usefulness. Even the name is misleading -- a "tablet" should be a device the size of a notebook computer; the Nokia N810 is a pocket-sized computer.
Skype Cell Phone To Launch At The End Of October
According to a report from BusinessWeek, VoIP service Skype will be available on an IP-powered cell phone offered by carrier 3 in the U.K., Italy, Hong Kong, and Australia in "late October." Holy VoIP, Batman, it's a full-IP mobility.
Can The RIAA Close Down Usenet?
Those of us who remember the Internet before the Web -- and yes, Virginia, there was an Internet before the Web -- will remember when Usenet was one of the major destinations for discussion and file-sharing. It's still there, in a quiet corner where the cognizanti hoped it would go unnoticed by the great unwashed. No more.
A Quick Chat With The Folks At Splashtop
The other week I mentioned Splashtop, a quick-booting Linux-based environment that can be embedded into flash memory on a PC motherboard (among other things). Yesterday I took time out to talk with the company, and learned more about what they have in mind for the future.
Get Better Results from your IT investments In today’s environment, you need to get the most out of your assets and people … all the while serving the strategic needs of your business and dealing with growth and acquisition issues. In addition, it is critically important to quantify results of those investments for leadership and accurately track service level agreements.
Deploying Advanced Security in an Empowered Branch This webcast will explore how to extend advanced security capabilities into your branch network, including:
· How Network Admission Control (NAC) can apply to branch endpoints
· How to deploy Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS) in a branch architecture
· How to address branch content and messaging security vulnerabilities
Independent Research Firm Uncovers BPM Trends You Shouldn’t Miss Join this interactive web seminar hosted by BEA Systems, featuring Forrester Analyst Colin Teubner as we explore why organizations are seeking to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and strategic value of key business processes. Find out where BPM is going next and where it can have the greatest impact across your organization.
Automation Notebook: Demystifying Network Communications
For many, the world of communications is mystifying. This
article defines some common networking terms and shows you how
they fit together. This journey through the world of networking
attempts to demystify some of the networking products offered in
today's industry. It starts with some networking concepts and
ends with some products that use them.
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5 Top Federal Initiatives For 2015As InformationWeek Government readers were busy firming up their fiscal year 2015 budgets, we asked them to rate more than 30 IT initiatives in terms of importance and current leadership focus. No surprise, among more than 30 options, security is No. 1. After that, things get less predictable.
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of December 14, 2014. Be here for the show and for the incredible Friday Afternoon Conversation that runs beside the program.